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UPDATE: Area Around Brighton Avenue Fire Building Reopened

DPW and some fire crews still on hand

The area around two building that were destroyed by a Monday afternoon fire on Brighton has been reopened to traffic. 

The fire was brought under control around 5 p.m. on Monday after firefighters from Long Branch and several surrounding towns battled it for over 6 hours.

There are now more DPW crews on hand than firefighters and heavy machinery is being used to try to move debris from the street and get Brighton Avenue completely reopened.

The smoke, which could once be seen from as far away as Asbury Park on Monday afternoon, is now just smoldering ash.

All that remains of the building is a few walls, the foundation and sections of the stores' awnings.

The fire appears to have started in a small vacant building and spread to another building that houses apartments above several small businesses including The Wave Boutique and Sacred Circle.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The buildings are located directly east of the Lighthouse, and the one above The Wave Boutique began to collapse around 1 p.m. on Monday, spilling debris onto Brighton Avenue. There are 12 apartments in the building and everybody was safely evacuated and was uninjured.

However, there are several reports stating that tenant's pets died in the fire.

Embers from the blaze reportedly ignited a small fire at the Wells Fargo Bank at the corner of Brighton Avenue and Ocean Avenue. However, that fire was brought under control in minutes, thanks to its close proximity to the original scene which is a block away from the bank.

The fire was reported around 11:15 a.m. and multiple fire crews from Long Branch, West Long Branch and Asbury Park were dispatched to the scene.

A large number of people have been forced from their homes and the Jersey Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross is currently helping the victims.

Kathy kenny February 13, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Please keep all the firefighter ...first aiders...police ...and fire police SAFE as they battle this horrible fire ...
Evelyn February 13, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Where is that at!??? Wow unbelievable!!!
Swift Loris February 13, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Still quite a bit of smoke visible looking down Ocean Boulevard from West End Ave. toward Brighton at 3:30 pm. There's a fire truck parked on West End at Ocean Blvd. hooked up to a hydrant; looks like it's pumping water all the way to the fire via a very long hose. What a shame for the businesses affected. Hope Patch will give us a list. That fire's going to leave a big, nasty hole on what was a charming block.
Sharon February 13, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I was on West Park Ave when I saw the black cloud of smoke. It must have just happened.
remmy711 February 13, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Is that anywhere near the old Laff inn bar?
Ant Petan February 14, 2012 at 02:10 AM
No. The fire is said to have started in the basement of the dance studio which used to be home to Steven's Bait & Tackle.
Sutah Ann Robins February 14, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Fundraiser at the Draft House in West End. 6-10 on Wednesday.
Swift Loris February 14, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Long, front-page story in the Asbury Park Press, app.com, today, with lots of photos and three or four videos. Some are saying it's the most costly fire in Long Branch since the pier fire in '87. Ten businesses destroyed or damaged from 51 to 71 Brighton, including Sacred Circle, Shelly's Jewelry, Universe Graphics, and East Coast Coin. Hope Patch will get us a full list soon. Twelve apartments lost; LB Senior Center is housing the tenants. Low water pressure apparently hampered firefighters at first. They had to pump in water from the lake 3/4 mile away.
Kevin Cieri February 14, 2012 at 08:23 PM
This just in from the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce: There have been many inquiries as to how to help with the recovery from the West End fire. The best way to assist the residential tenants that have lost everything is gift cards, checks and cash dropped off at Central Jersey Bank, 627 Second Avenue ATTENTION CAROL FELDMAN. Household items may be dropped off at West End Fire House on Second Avenue between the hours of 2 and 5 PM. We are trying to move very quickly with this grassroots effort. We will have more information tomorrow. Thank you to all who have called and sent emails. Long Branch is a great community to live and work!!
Swift Loris February 14, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Kevin, who should checks be made out to?

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